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Do The Right Thing

Artist: Redhead Kingpin & The FBI

Year: 1989

By Andrew Kay | 30 March 2010

Believe it or not, but this was supposed to be the title track to the Spike Lee film of the same name back in 1989. For reasons that remain unknown, it was rejected at the last minute in favour of the more militant 'Fight the Power' by Public Enemy.


Redhead Kingpin and the F.B.I (For Black Intelligence) scored a hit with this New Jack Swing influenced, Teddy Riley produced hit, which blew up dance floors back in the hot Summer of 1989. Whilst the message of the song was more upbeat and positive, it still managed to reference the 1986 racist murder at Howard Beach, where a black youth was chased onto a motorway by a white gang and hit by a car in the melee.

Redhead Kingpin was a support act to many big rap artists of 1989, notably, KRS 1 at the Forum (the old Town and Country Club). This was the first time KRS 1 and his group Boogie Down Productions had played in London since KRS1 was refused entry to his own gig at London's intimate and notorious Wag Club the year before, because the bouncers didn't recognise him!

Redhead had more success with the 'Pump it Hottie' & 'Rock the Mic', but seem to disband after their second album on Virgin. They reformed as the group 'Private Investigators' in 1993, but the public didn't warm to the new image and harder-edged sound.

Still, 'Do the Right Thing' and their first album 'A Shade of Red' reminds hip-hop heads of a more danceable, less hectic, but no less credible side of hip-hop back in the late 1980s.

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